Noni Madueke pinpoints moment Chelsea 'clicked' as he makes European qualification vow

Chelsea's Noni Madueke is feeling optimistic about the team's recent performances, following consecutive victories over Tottenham and West Ham at Stamford Bridge, which have significantly improved their chances of qualifying for Europe.

After the second of these morale-boosting wins, a resounding 5-0 triumph over West Ham United in front of an ecstatic home crowd at Stamford Bridge, Madueke was understandably upbeat. The winger himself scored the Blues' third goal during a thrilling first 36 minutes that essentially sealed the match, joining Cole Palmer and Conor Gallagher on the score sheet before Nicolas Jackson added two more in the second half to further enhance the result.

However, Madueke was quick to emphasise that it was a collective effort, attributing the win to a solid overall performance by the Blues. "It was a fantastic win," he told the official Chelsea website. "Everyone played really well individually and as a collective.

"We kept the ball well. I feel like credit has to be given to us, we dominated in all phases of play. We played our game in possession, fought for each other, and that's why the game probably looked as straightforward as it did.

"They're a difficult side to play they're very direct, they're very strong and fast, very physical. We knew set-pieces and counter-attacks were where they could probably catch us, so we tried to limit that and I think we did it well.

"We did well to defend that in a strong manner and then also dominate the game in possession. When we dominate games like that in possession I feel like we're very difficult to beat. Everyone played their position and their role so it was a great performance and a great day."

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Saturday's big win over West Ham made it two London derby victories in the space of four days at Stamford Bridge, having already beaten Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 earlier in the week. With signs of Chelsea hitting good form in time for the crucial finale to the season, Madueke believes the team is beginning to gel under Mauricio Pochettino after months of hard work.

"We've been confident, but we're starting to put everything together in terms of being a collective team, being unselfish, working hard for each other, and I think the last two games have really shown that with the performances and the results. Two clean sheets and seven goals against tough opponents - one is above us in the table and one right next to us. So I think it's credit to the boys, credit to the staff and credit to the whole club.

"It's starting to click and come together, but it really just comes from working hard for each other and letting our talent sprout from there. That's what we've been trying to put together for a while now and it's starting to click, so we just have to stay with our feet on the ground and try to win these last three games to finish as high as possible."

That, of course, is Madueke and his fellow Blues' main aim to pick up maximum points between now and the end of the campaign to try and secure European qualification for 2024/25. It is a task the winger now believes is within the team's grasp.

"Of course we have a chance. If we win all our games we'll see how the chips fall, but we've got to focus on the last three games," the Englishman said. "There are two tough away games coming up, we'll be taking them very seriously.

"When you play for one of the biggest clubs in the world you have to play in Europe all the time. It's been a disappointment this season that we weren't participating in any of those competitions, however we have a great chance to do so next year and we have to go and get it.

"We're going to do our upmost to finish as high as possible to qualify for European competition for next season. We know what we can do now, so for the rest of the season we'll put everything into it and go again."